The Annunciation of the Lord - Solemnity
“tree of life” who “yielded its fruit in due season”...
Saint John Damascene (c.675-749), monk, theologian, Doctor of the Church
Homily on the Nativity of the Virgin, § 9 ; SC 80
"Hail, full of grace!"
This woman will be the Mother of God, the door to light, source of life; she will reduce to oblivion the judgement that weighed on Eve. “The rich among the people seek the face” of this woman, “the kings of the nations shall pay her homage”, they shall “offer gifts”..., yet the glory of the Mother of God is an interior glory: the fruit of her womb.
O woman, so worthy of love, thrice happy, “blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” Daughter of David the king and Mother of God, King of the universe, masterpiece in whom the Creator rejoices...: you are to be nature's full achievement. For you life is not yours; you were not born for yourself alone; but your life is to be God's. You came into the world for him, you will serve for the salvation of all people, fulfilling God's design established from the beginning: the incarnation of the Word and our own divinization. Your whole desire is to feed on the words of God, to be strengthened by their sap, like “a green olive tree in the house of God”, “like a tree planted by running water”, you are the “tree of life” who “yielded its fruit in due season”...
He who is infinite, limitless, came to dwell in your womb; God, the child Jesus, was nourished by your milk. You are the ever virginal doorway of God; your hands hold your God; your lap is a throne raised up above the cherubim... You are the wedding chamber of the Spirit, the “city of the living God, gladdened by the runlets of the stream”, that is to say the waves of the Spirit's gifts. You are “all fair, the Beloved” of God.
( Biblical references : Ps 44,13; 71,11.10; Mt 2,11; Lk 1,42; Is 62,5; Ps 51,10; 1,3; cf Gn 2,9, Rv 22,2; cf Ez 44,2; Ps 79,2; cf Sg 1,4; Ps 45,5; Sg 4,7)
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